Our Thoughts on the Weekend Sales

Amazon has stayed mum on any plans to compete in this weekend's sales against Walmart and BestBuy, so right now it's a two pony race; although Amazon could very well surprise us with their Goldbox Sale tomorrow.

EDIT: Amazon's Gold Box sales are covered in our Overview of the Friday and Saturday Sales news post. The sale includes a Vizio 26" TV for $198.99 (to rival Walmart), a Compaq Presario CQ62-210US for $279.99 (to rival both Walmart and BestBuy) and a PlayStation 3 320GB Console w/ Move Bundle and $50 Gift-Card for $399 (to rival Walmart). We've updated our recommendations accordingly below.

For those confused about the meaning of this post, the following sales will be going on this weekend:

In this post, we will be directly comparing the sales of BestBuy and Walmart. If we get a sneak peak of Amazon's items, we’ll update the post to include them.


eMachines eME442-V133 15.6” Laptop for $279.99 at BestBuy

On the surface, these look like almost the same computer. The primary difference is BestBuy's eMachine's laptop comes with a dedicated ATi Radeon HD 4250 Graphics Card and a HDMI (w/ HDCP Support) output for multimedia connectivity. Walmart's Compaq only has Intel Integrated Graphics, which means that some of your system's memory (2GB) will be allocated for graphics processing.

Neither laptop is going to be a suitable for extended portable use (especially the eMachine, which comes with a low-capacity 4-cell battery), and with each laptop weighing between 6-8 lbs, you could probably cancel your gym membership if you plan on lugging either around with any consistency.

The graphics card and HDMI difference aren't huge deals, but given everything else, the better purchase is BestBuy's eMachine for $279.99. Both would make adequate entry-level laptop for someone in need, but if you have a little wiggle room in your budget, it might be worth your while to wait a little bit longer.

Amazon update: Amazon is offering the Compaq Presario CQ62-210US Laptop w/ Intel Celeron 900 Processor, 2GB RAM, 250GB HDD, Windows 7 Home Premium and Integrated Graphics for $279.99 today at 9pm PDT during their Gold Box Sale. This laptop is almost an exact carbon-copy of the Walmart laptop and therefore, we still recommend the BestBuy laptop over both.

We've seen dual-core laptops (both of these are single-core) that will significantly outperform these two for as little as $350.


Vizio 26

BestBuy has listed three different Dynex 32" models (DX-32L150A11, DX-32L151A11 and DX-32L152A11) and model will probably vary by store. The 152 model is apparently only for-sale in Canada. The differences between the 150 and 151 model is that the 150 has more inputs, which I've summarized below:

  • DX-32L150A11 (2 component, 2 S-Video, 0 DVI, 3 HDMI, 1 PC Input)
  • DX-32L151A11 (1 component, 0 S-Video, 0 DVI, 2 HDMI, 1 PC Input)

This would make the 150 model more sought after; luckily, it appears to also be the most prominent model provided. If given the choice between the 150 and 151, choose the 150.

While all of these HDTVs are 720p, unless you plan on sitting less than 6-feet away from the TV, you won't notice a difference from a 1080p set.

For a 26" 720p LED-lit LCD HDTV, we don't think we're going to see a price much lower than $200 anytime soon, including Black Friday. The 26" Vizio is the best TV deal of the weekend sales.

For the 32" size, the Dynex 32L150A11 was retailing for $300 until October 24 when it dropped down to $279.99. At $259.99 it's now dropped another $20 and it probably won't get much cheaper. The Vizio E320VL, however, is usually sold at a much higher price ($350 shipped at Amazon) and thus the discount on the Vizio is greater (both in absolute and relative terms) than the Dynex.

It's still a $40 difference though, and we don't think there is $40 between the two TVs, and would recommend the Dynex over the Vizio only because of the price-difference. If both were at the same price-point, it'd be a no-contest for the Vizio.

Closing Notes

A lot of people, including us, glanced over the Disney Guilty Party Wii video-game on sale for $20 (from $40) in Best Buy's Shop Early, Save Big Sale. Guilty Party was recently released this past August and has received very positive reviews (IGN, Joystiq); being able to pick it up for $20 is a steal.

The $50 iTunes card for $35 is a really good deal, especially if you know someone who purchases a lot of music through iTunes.

And the Sony PlayStation 3 Console w/ Move Bundle and $50 Gift Card for $399 wasn't anywhere near as hot as we originally thought it was. Last year's Xbox 360 bundle came with a $100 gift-card, in comparison, this deal is lukewarm, at best: we expect to see better deals on video-game console bundles in the sales leading up to and during Black Friday.

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